Danish Employment Contracts

Information on what a Danish employment contract should include. Also a list of useful vocabulary for employees in Denmark...

By law all employers must provide their employees with a job contract which clearly defines the terms of their employment. A contract is required if the employment is to last for more than one month and the average hours to be worked exceed eight per week. If the terms are defined by a collective agreement the contract should include a reference to it. Foreign workers generally have the same employment rights as Danish nationals.

A job contract should include the following:

  • The name and address of the employer and employee
  • The location of the workplace
  • The employee's title and a description of their role
  • The date the employee starts work
  • The expected duration of the job contract if the job is not permanent
  • Terms of notice
  • Holiday entitlement
  • The agreed salary including any allowances or pension contributions
  • Standard working hours
  • Information, if applicable, on collective agreements that determine working conditions

Contracts may also contain information about customers and competition.

It is important to fully understand all terms and conditions outlined in an employment contract. It is advisable to have a contract translated if an individual's understanding of Danish does not allow them to clearly understand their employment contract. Some employers provide translations.

Working Hours

In Denmark the standard working week is 37 hours long with most hours being worked between 06:00-18:00. By law, the maximum average working hours cannot exceed 48 hours per week when averaged over a four month period. A lunch break of 30 minutes is normal. In the public sector lunch breaks are usually paid, which is not always the case in the private sector where it varies depending on the terms of a collective agreement or individual contract. Employees are entitled to at least one day off per week.

Useful Vocabulary

English Danish
collective agreement kollektive overenskomste
employee lønmodtagerens
employer arbejdsgiveren
employer association arbejdsgiverforeninger
holiday ferie
job contract ansættelseskontrakt
job description beskrivelse af arbejdet
law lov
minimum wage minimumsløn
notice period opsigelsesvarsler
rules for dismissal / terms of notice regler for opsigelse
salary lønforholdene
union fagforeninger
worker arbejdstager
working hours arbejdstid